The Washington Redskins found their security blanket in Chris Thompson, an excellent third down back who signed a multi-year contract extension on Tuesday.
Chris Thompson can finally relax knowing his home will continue to reside in Washington for at least another few years.
The 26-year-old running back signed a contract extension Tuesday, something he said had been making him nervous for days now.
"I felt like a kid going to school for the first day," Thompson said. "I couldn't sleep, I was ready to give up and come here this morning. I wanted to cry last night because I knew this was coming this morning. Little bit of mixed emotions, but of course I'm happy about it."
Thompson had been previously playing under a one-year tender he signed in the offseason. Now that a longer-term deal has been inked, Thompson expressed his eagerness to focus purely on football.
"I'm just glad we were able to get something done and that's out the window now," he said. "I wasn't worried about it earlier. I was just focusing on having a great year this year, but now that's out of the way I feel good."
Thompson's transition to the NFL was anything but smooth after being drafted by the Redskins in the fifth round in 2013. During his rookie season, the young tailback underwent shoulder surgery, keeping him off the field for a large portion of the year. He failed to make the initial 53-man roster in 2014 and spent time on the practice squad before finally getting an opportunity to see some game time later that year.
His amount of carries nearly doubled from 2015 to 2016 and he averaged 5.5 yards per run through the two seasons, earning him the title of "security blanket" on the offense.
"Just being consistent, that's been my biggest focus, just trying to be consistent and just being the same guy, being the same player every single day," Thompson said.
Head coach Jay Gruden, one of Thompson's advocates, expressed his delight in the extension and praised his running back's work ethic.
Check out behind the scenes images from Running Back, Chris Thompson's 2017 Redskins Photo Shoot.
"He's a coach's dream, quite frankly, and you want those guys to succeed because it trickles down in the building," Gruden said. "Guys like that, when you see them get rewarded, the younger guys see what it takes to get rewarded and it rubs off on the younger players. So it's great to have a leader like Chris."
Gruden also said that while there may be some bigger names at running back on the roster, there were few more dependable than Thompson, especially in the red zone and on third down.
Through four seasons, Thompson also acted as another weapon for quarterback Kirk Cousins in the passing game, snagging 90 receptions and five touchdowns.
"We've gotten to the point where Kirk trusted me," Thompson said. "That's what every receiver, running back wants from their quarterback, to just have that trust in you. The coaches trust in me and that's all I ever wanted."
Though he received support and encouragement from the coaching staff and team during the offseason, Thompson said there was hardly ever a moment where he felt his job was completely secure. He said he recognized the uncertainty that comes with playing in the NFL, but was glad to have a home for the next two years.
"I had my doubts, I had them all along ever since I made it in this league," Thompson said. "I started to improve my last couple years, so I figured something would come along and we were finally able to get something done. Like I said before, I'm happy about it, I'm excited about the opportunity to be here with my boys a little longer."